The pier head, painting by Stanhope Forbes
After his early training in London, Stanhope Forbes travelled to France in 1880 where he studied initially at Leon Bonnat’s Paris studio before heading to Brittany where he first began to paint in the open air, a practice he favoured for the remainder of his career. In 1884, back in Britain, Forbes settled in the picturesque Cornish fishing village of Newlyn near Penzance, and along with his artist wife Elizabeth, became a leading figure in the growing colony of artists there and in nearby St Ives.
Newlyn provided Forbes and other members of the Newlyn School of impressionist painters with something of the same quality of light they had enjoyed in France and which, along with the unpretentious maritime subjects in their midst, was a constant source of inspiration. The figures seen in paintings by Forbes and his associates were mostly modelled on the local villagers and fishermen.